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Clarification on EWP for levees, private dams, site access and road projects

Below is information to clarify some specific situations for which EWP funds are available, what they are not available for, and work that can be considered 'exigency' requests.

Privately Owned Dams

  • NRCS can do EWP work to repair privately owned dams (owned by lake associations or landowners) and emergency spillways which have been damaged due to the recent flooding, as long as a county government or other local government entity (city, town) is willing to sponsor the project and provide the 25% match.   
  • Work may be considered under "Exigency" funding if the emergency spillway has been severely gullied and/or obstructed, the outlet channel for the principal spillway is obstructed, or other severe erosion on the dam occurred from water flowing over or adjacent to the dam. 
  • If the dam has been breached NRCS cannot use EWP funds to rebuild the dam.   
  • Debris removal from the principal spillway should be considered a normal Operation and Maintenance (O&M) activity by the owner.


  • Levees qualify for EWP if they are on streams with less than 400 square miles of drainage area, and are not USACE (Corps of Engineers) regulated.   There must be a local project sponsor (County government or Levee District recognized by State Government) and meet the EWP requirements for threat to life, property, etc.

Site Access for Repair

  • It is acceptable to request funds for an 'Exigency' project which may not be accessible to repair at the time funding is approved.  NRCS would have 10 days from the time the site was accessible to repair to complete the 'Exigency' work.

Exigency Road Projects--immediate threat to life or property

  • If a road is closed, NRCS does not consider this to be an 'Exigency' project since the road is not currently being used.    
  • If a road is open and areas near a culvert or bridge need to be protected or stabilized this can be considered an 'Exigency' project.  Examples would be vertical banks at the edge of the pavement, exposed bridge abutments, or debris removal to restore capacity of the upstream or downstream channel adjacent to the bridge or culvert.